Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Small Business Saturday: Nov. 30

Remember that small businesses are where you can find really unique and meaningful gifts for the holiday season. Contact North Coast Imports for a list of small business dealers in your area.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"TrumpeterMan" - a Specialist in Mechanical Dreams

I love visiting "TrumpeterMan" and his shop and personal collection of fantastic Black Forest and Viennese artifacts! He maintains an astounding collection of Black Forest Trumpeter Clocks, Flute Clocks, Carillon Clocks, musical Vienna Regulators, Picture Frame Clocks (with animation and music), Whistling Bird Automata, Musical Chairs (real carved ones), Cuckoo Clocks... I mean, it's really unbelievable!

Here, he cares for the heritage and Golden Age of the Black Forest Clock Industry. I was able to take some snapshots of his shop and collection, and he has a YouTube channel.

Dr. Rudolf's Magical Musical Clockwork Promenade

Our dealer in Ohio is planning a remarkable Holiday Event!
Doctor Rudolf's Magical Musical Clockwork Promenade will be an Open House with a continuous concert of mechanical music, refreshments, story tellers for children, and fantastic holiday shopping opportunities.
In addition to the clockwork marvels always on display at Suburban Clock, we will have exhibits of special and rare antique music boxes, orchestrions, player pianos, organ clocks, and more!
Come to Dr. Rudolf's Magical Musical Clockwork Promenade! at Suburban Clock on November 22-23 for some hot cider, a music box concert, a story, and get your holiday shopping done early. We're sure to have something for everyone on your list! Visit or the Facebook event page for more information and directions to our store.

Here are a couple videos of newly restored, antique organ clocks that will be on display. These are exceptionally rare and worth the opportunity to see in real life!


Saturday, November 09, 2013

Astronomical Clock

This beautiful piece is one of those long-term projects (like the 10,000 year clock) that we just love to follow. Clock expert Mark Frank's clock was featured in some clock magazines and blogs, and here is a great little YouTube video showing it off.


From Mark's Blog:
This is a four train, quarter striking movement with the fourth train driving the astronomical systems. The escapement is based on Harrison's H1 design and is driven by dual swinging-frame remontoire. The clock's functions include: 400 year perpetual calendar, equation of time, sidereal time, sun/moon rise and set, moon's phase and age, tides, solar/lunar eclipses, planisphere, tellurium, and full-featured orrery to Saturn with functional moons. There will be over 20 complications.

Friday, November 08, 2013


We uploaded the lecture on Longitude that was presented as part of Clocktoberfest. Here it is on YouTube!

Friday, November 01, 2013

New "Color Series" alarm clocks from Sternreiter!

These little beauties just came in! They have a fantastic "no-fingerprint" finish, great bold colors! Collect them all!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Shopping for a German Cuckoo Clock?

If you're buying a German cuckoo clock, make sure that the clock is legally imported. If you are thinking about buying from a German website, ask them first how much Import Duty you will have to pay upon delivery.

Some German websites won't tell you that you'll have to pay an extra $100 or so when the clock is delivered to your door. Or, they'll try to circumvent the cost for you by misrepresentation on the Customs form - that, of course, is a felony.

You don't have that problem with North Coast Imports products. Of course, all  of our German clocks are imported legally, and we already paid the proper Duty. So, you won't have any surprises from us or our dealers!

Not only that, but we fully warranty all of our clocks for two years and take care of any problems in our own shop in Ohio. You won't have to send any clocks back to Germany when you buy a North Coast Imports clock!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Friday, August 02, 2013

Lecture on the Marine Chronometer, the key to finding longitude

As part of our Clocktoberfest celebration in Berea, Ohio, we are partnering with Baldwin Wallace University in presenting a special open house at the Burrell Memorial Observatory on Friday August 9, 2013 at 6:30.

Dr. Edwin Meyer presents a lecture on The Marine Chronometer,
The Key to Finding Longitude. The technological progress of humanity has come with a concomitant necessity for a more precise method to measure the passage of time. This was apparent when maritime travel for conquest, trade and exploration required a method to accurately determine the position of a ship at sea. A ship's latitude could be determined by the angle of the noonday sun, but the determination of a ship's longitude turned out to be the biggest technological challenge of the 18th Century. There were two
paths to this achievement - navigation by the heavens and navigations by accurately measuring time. Dr. Meyer will tell the story of this race for the determination of longitude on the high sea.

There will be museum-quality timepieces available for viewing before and after Dr. Meyer's presentation courtesy of Suburban Clock, including an actual marine chronometer.

Dr. Edwin Meyer, Chairman of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at BW will present the lecture held in the "Center for Innovation and Growth" (CIG). a340 Front Street, Berea, Ohio 44017After the lecture the Burrell Observatory will be open for viewing, weather permitting.  This is a free lecture and no reservations are required. For questions, contact the observatory director at or the Department of Physics and Astronomy at 440 826 2312

For more information on other Clocktoberfest events on August 10, call 440 234 4027 or visit

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Two New Wall Clocks!

We're very pleased to introduce two more NEW fine clocks to our lineup.

The Jugend

This is a timeless design built with absolute quality. This clock has an entirely solid walnut case, made in the U.S.A. The dial is heavy, solid brass with a brushed finish.

The Hummel

Another classic design, this clock is entirely made in Germany. It features marquetry around the dial and a wonderful natural cherry finish.

Friday, July 12, 2013


We're excited to introduce these new models to our collection! Please take a moment to follow the links to learn more about these great clocks!

The Tristan

This one is really fantastic, and we spent a long time in development. It features a German enamel dial and a CAST-BRASS bezel. This clock is leaps and bounds over similar clocks with spun metal dials. It's available in oak or cherry finish.

The Verdi

The Verdi combines the elegant Brahms wooden case with the high quality enamel and brass dial and bezel.

Bavarian Chalet

This is a beautifully made clock with lots of eye-candy - and at a Great Price!

Quartz Chalet

A great cuckoo at a great price!

Beer Drinker

Animated chalet. One-day musical.

...and there's still more to come! Stay tuned to see what we have coming.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

What is the VdS?

Sometimes we're asked, "What is the difference between those clocks which are VdS certified and those that aren't?"

This can mean many things in an age of outsourcing and Chinese manufacturing, but in our case VdS certification means that the clock has been certified by the Black Forest Clock Association of clockmakers as being an Authentic Black Forest Clock. While all of our cuckoo clocks from North Coast Imports are made in Germany and have the highest-quality mechanisms that are made in the Black Forest, some of our cuckoo clocks may have parts from other regions of Germany, Italy, and possibly Eastern Europe. The VdS certified clocks have a higher percentage of parts that come from the local Black Forest area.  Cuckoo manufacturing is a matter of strong local pride for Black Forest artisans. It is a cottage industry that all takes place within a few square miles.

The VdS also provides a wealth of extra support and information on their Authentic Black Forest clocks. Their website includes high-quality videos for setup and maintenance of your timepiece, as well as some interesting historical information.

All of our mechanical cuckoo clocks at North Coast Imports are German, with Black Forest mechanisms, and most of them are also VdS Certified. Just check the description on our website to see which cuckoo clocks are certified as having mostly Black Forest parts and construction.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Supermoon 2013

From CBS News:

The largest full moon of 2013, a so-called "supermoon," will light up the night sky this weekend, but there's more to this lunar delight than meets the eye.

On Sunday, June 23, at 7 a.m. EDT, the moon will arrive at perigee -- the point in its orbit its orbit bringing it closest to Earth), a distance of 221,824 miles. Now the moon typically reaches perigee once each month (and on some occasions twice), with their respective distances to Earth varying by 3 percent.

But Sunday's lunar perigee will be the moon's closest to Earth of 2013. And 32 minutes later, the moon will officially turn full. The close timing of the moon's perigee and its full phase are what will bring about the biggest full moon of the year, a celestial event popularly defined by some as a "supermoon."

So, be sure to check out the moon Sunday night, particularly at Moonrise or Moonset, when it will look the biggest.

It's also a great time to set your Orrery. Be sure to order one from your favorite dealer today to record this annual event.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Pre-order Many New Models Already

We're pleased to be announcing some new cuckoo clock models early this year. We don't have them ready yet, but our workshops in Germany are busy putting them together. We've got a NEW clockmaker commissioned to make some Sternreiter models, so we're very excited!

 There are more coming, so be sure to stay tuned either here or on our Facebook and/or Twitter feeds.


Thursday, June 06, 2013


Here's a cute new clock. We are having a Pre-Order Special on them before they arrive from Germany. Ask your favorite clock dealer for more info...

How An Hourglass Is Made

Because - admit it - you always wanted to know...

[via Make]

Friday, May 24, 2013

Design is Paramount

I was on the plane yesterday, and had an interesting conversation with the man next to me.

He brought up the Kimball Electronics Group which is a global electronics company which he represented at one time or another. KEG was once Kimball International, which was one of the largest manufacturers of home organs. He remembered a conversation he had with the CEO which described their transition from organs to a giant electronics firm.

The CEO said that from the '50s through the '80s every newlywed bought an organ for their home. By the time the '80s came and went into the world of electronics, no younger person was interested in having one in their living room. They were no longer a status symbol.

To be sure, I remember them as a kid. Those home organs were everywhere. We used to have a stand at the county fair, selling Grandfather clocks next to those heavy organs thumping out "Oh When the Saints Go Marching In..." in every beat from a rumba to a disco groove.  Where did they all go?

Why don't people buy them anymore? Is it just because young people aren't interested in having a big piece of wooden furniture anymore?

I'm a musician, so my thoughts immediately go to how these things sounded. There weren't enough keys to properly play any piano music. The sound was not great. Actually, I would have preferred the reed organs that came before them, or even the more flexible synthesizers that came after.

And how do they look? I remember a lot of fiberboard covered with cheap plastic veneer.

Design is so important in today's market. Regardless of what a product does, or what kind of materials it uses, it has to look good. Another example of this can be found in smartphones.  Palm, Blackberry and Windows phones have been around since at least 2001, but almost nobody had them until the iPhone came out with it's sleek and elegant design with metal and glass casing.

It's why we, at North Coast Imports, put a very high importance on the design of our clocks. We recognize that people don't buy clocks as a tool anymore. Clocks are meant as an aesthetic accessory to your home or working space. A clock is a living kinetic and aural sculpture.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Robot Birds

Our followers who appreciate clocks are also often lovers of automata and early robots. There is a great article at The Smithsonian Magazine on a short history of robot birds. There's also a great preceding post on the history of the cuckoo clock.

 We at North Coast Imports have often pointed out the importance of the development of the cuckoo clock and it's eventual ancestral relation to the modern computer. Be sure to check out our website at for a wealth of information on the history of clocks in general.

 The Smithsonian article cites the work of Archytas of Tarentum (c. 350 B.C.) which included a mechanical wooden dove and flying, and of course the famous 18th Century automata from France and Switzerland.


[via The Smithsonian Magazine]

A Network of Websites and a Network of Dealers

We have a lot of attractive items on our network of websites. In addition to our standard line of clocks at we also have a special website featuring our /design series of clocks at PLUS there is a growing collection of collectible and antique clocks at That website also provides a host of educational information on the history of horology.

Most of the clocks on all three websites are available for purchase through our dealer network. If you are interested please email us with your postal code. We might be able to find a dealer in your area that has the clock in stock.  Otherwise, the following list (in no particular order) of premium online dealers should be able to help you:

If you are already a North Coast Imports dealer and would like to be included on this list, please email us with your web address.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Troubleshoot Your Cuckoo Clock Hands

Here's a great video from the VdS (Black Forest Clock Association) on how to troubleshoot your cuckoo clock hands. You can also find more information on this topic on our page here.

Cuckoo Bird rescued in Britain

An endangered cuckoo bird was nursed back to health and then shipped back to Turin Italy.

Water-Powered Cuckoo Clock

Here's a very interesting mechanism - especially the singing bird device. You can see a better video below and can hear the birds chirping. The clock was recently built by a retired hydrogeologist Richard Pim, who spent his long career bringing water to arid farmlands in Saudi Arabia and Nepal.

[via Daily Mail]

Thursday, March 07, 2013


We have just set the date to celebrate our 60th anniversary! Be sure to join us for the fun this summer at CLOCKtoberfest! Saturday, August 10 2013

It will be fun for all ages.  We're planning food, drink, live music, and lots of other surprises.  Be sure to watch this space as details develop!